…..'A sense of humour lends you poise, it gives you balance and it helps you to bend without breaking'…..

(HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda)

Menory Lane; The Rock, 2nd trip

Last year I shared with you tales of the first great adventure in the Wide Brown Land. Having visited Uluru (Ayers Rock not the peesee name these days) during that journey I mentioned that it was not to be my last visit.

In fact there were to be two more visits.  This one, the second, was a 'girls' trip with my mother and her big sis, Aunty Annie. 

We 'roughed' it in the hostel section. This entailed packing sleeping bags, sharing bunk rooms and bathroom facilities and ensuring all valuables were tuck under our pillows at night, then carried with us at all times during the day. I was extra cautious in this regard because only a few short months prior, I had accompanied a friend to Canberra, staying in the Youth Hostel there.

Allow me to digress a mo'.  In Scotland I had thoroughly enjoyed hosteling.  There was a grand and honourable tradition to sharing accommodations with fellow walkers, cyclists and nature-hounds. Everything was 'hale fellow well met' and at no time did one consider that any of these strangers were in any way pursuing one's limited goods.  Food might be shared, chores certainly were and conversation was always interesting if at times a little 'robust'.

There was a few years gap from my last hostel stay to the one in Canberra, but the organisation was one and the same. Turned out thieves lurked there. Not happenstance and opportunistic. Planned and calculated. I did think the two lassies were a little out of the usual cut of hosteler. Make-up, 'jinglies' and high heels should have been a clue.  I can tend to the over-trusting though. My antenna failed me.  

$200 and a very fine wallet from Nigeria days was never to be found.  Management were ambivalent to say the least.  The gals pouted and simpered and 'just could not believe it'... then disappeared in the night... without using any of my two hundred bucks to settle the modest tariff.

So, up at The Rock, I warned my elders and we paid attention.  The types who traverse the trails of OZ are not always so 'hale fellow' are not always 'well met'.  That all said, we had a whale of a time.

The old girls wanted to see the Olgas - I had done that already, so took off on a local peoples' bush food trip.  Cue witchety grubs and honey ants, prickly wattle...

It was an excellent day; learning how to find pools of dew in the roots of shrubs and grazing as we walked. The seeds were almost citrus and helped to stimulate saliva, reducing water needs.  The ants were sweet... as were the grubs.  Yes I am a vegetarian.  Regardless of my own choices, in a situation like this, one must respect culture and availability.  The amazing skill of the Arunta folk in surviving the incredibly harsh environment could only be admired. I took the necessary one of each to honour the tradition and enlarge the experience. It is a good memory.

Later, meeting up again with the ma and aunty, the group pooled the gatherings for a corroboree. Before that though, there was one more thing to experience.  How to hunt 'roo and bilby.  We didn't actually do that of course.  I'd have drawn the line at risk of offence on that one.  The dressing up and learning to the throwing of the spear was fun though. Loin cloth would have been more authentic... another line not crossed!

In case you are wondering, that's Uluru in the distance there... We did the walk around it, but mostly we were enjoying the surrounds, which can be so often ignored.

It was a happy three day fly-in, fly-out memory with two of my dearest.  It also spoke to the ever-searching spirit that is YAM, as she listened to the stories of the song-lines and felt their pull.


  1. Yam is wearing a mighty interesting blouse, too, What is the back panel for?

  2. Sorry to hear about the loss of money and billfold... butt that was an amazing outing you had.

  3. Funny I live here and have never been to visit the rock but they say you often ignore your own back yard.
    I've had money stolen on holidays too, now not so much of a problem as you can get money out of the bank everywhere no need to carry large amounts of cash anymore.

  4. Aunty Yam, I don't even eat bugs! I understand why you did but ewwwww!

  5. Interesting to hear about the Ulura surroundings too. Always good to try the local food!
    Cheers, Gail.

  6. You were a hosteller too?? My parents actually met in a youth hostel back in the day and took us hostelling throughout most of my teens. After that my sister and I did some hostelling as well: Wales and England and Belgium/Luxembourg. We always tried to find the ones with the funniest names!

    But, we have now progressed to the hotel or B/B stage. A bit more privacy, a bit more secure.


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